David Rakoff

Author: David Rakoff

Profile: David Rakoff was a Canadian born American essayist, writer of prose and poetry, actor and journalist. He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and died in New York City, U.S. He completed his education at Columbia University. In his writings David has written almost every generation of his family has run away from one place to another. His Jewish grandparents at the turn of the 20th century fled Lithuania and Latvia to settle in South Africa. Later in 1961 for political reasons they left South Africa and lived in Montreal for 7 years. When he has 3 in 1967, the family again relocated to Toronto, Canada.

David Rakoff is identified as Jewish, as an adult. Rakoff did his high schooling at the Forest Hill Collegiate Institute and in 1982 completed his graduation. He did his majors in East Asian Studies at Columbia University, New York and also studied dance. He attended the third year of college at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and in 1986 finished his graduation. In Japan he has worked with a fine arts publisher as a translator. At the age of 22 years he contracted a form of lymphatic cancer and went to Toronto for further treatment for one and a half years.

Writing style: David Rakoff has written humorous and at times autobiographical non-fiction essays. He has contributed regularly to WBEZ’s This American Life. David Rakoff has described himself not only as a ‘New York writer’ but also a ‘mega Jewish writer, ‘a Canadian writer’, ‘East Asian Studies major’ who has not been able to remember most of his Japanese’ and a gay writer.

Read realted notes  Analysis of ‘Brass Spittoons’ by Langston Hughes

Published Texts:


2001 – Fraud

2005 – Don’t Get Too Comfortable

2010 – Half -Empty

Posthumous publication

2013 – Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Lambda Literary Award for Fraud (Doubleday 2001) and Don’t Get Too Comfortable (Doubleday 2005)

Thurber Prize for American Humor (Half-Empty)